Christmas Finlayson

For quite a few reasons, I usually shy away from giving handmade gifts at Christmas time, but this year I could think of no other option!  On both mine and my husbands side of the family we do ‘Secret Santa’ for the gifts among us adults and on both sides I drew out my brother-in-laws.  Stink!  Worst luck!  One is super fussy and the other has everything…..that is, except for a clothing item, hand made by me.

So here is the fourth Thread Theory pattern that I’ve made up.  It’s the Finlayson and this pattern is just as good as their others.  Yay for Thread Theory, you guys rock!

The pattern came together beautifully.  I didn’t follow the instructions (because I forgot to print them out) but referred to the sew-along for the more detailed bits.


Its really hard to get a good photo without a person wearing it!


I usually use a clear elastic to stabilise the shoulders but this time around I used a cotton tape and really appreciated how there was no chance of it puckering up the seam.


I used a check, brushed cotton cut on the bias for the back neck facing.  I’m really proud of how precise I sewed the curve of this onto the jersey as this is the part I was worried about the most.  You can see the stitching from the outside and I figured a wonky, jerky curve would clearly give the jersey away as being ‘homemade.’


The sew-along gave clear instructions on how to attach the collar.  Following them however meant my upper-collar ended up underneath but I think this depends on what you call the ‘upper’ collar on this pattern.  Sorry, thats a bit hard to explain…

Everything else came together easily apart from the sleeve cuffs.  My material was really stretchy so I used the shorter cuff pattern piece and this meant that there was a lot of sleeve to ease into the cuff.  Then I wasn’t quite sure the best way of sewing it on so ended up doing a triple stretch stitch on my machine  (which I think stretched out the seam slightly) and then finishing with the overlocker.  I would have preferred to just use the overlocker but that was kind of impossible with a 1.5cm SA.  Perhaps next time I should try narrowing down the seam allowance to just the width of the overlocker stitch? I’m interested to hear what others would do.


Fabric: Merino, Lycra sweat shirting that was discounted at The Fabric Store.  It was one of those times that making the fabric up into a finished article made it seem completely different then when it was just off the bolt.  I was a bit ho-hum with it to begin with.

Size: XL – I didn’t have my brother-in-laws measurements so just relied on the fact that the other Thread Theory patterns have come up true to RTW sizings.  I then very scientifically compared those measurements to my husband, as in, ‘I think your brother is X taller and has Y wider shoulders/longer arms than you’

Fave Bits:

  • Easy pattern to sew together
  • Contrast check cotton facing
  • Circular stitching on the facing

For Next Time:

  • Figure out a less stressful way to attach the sleeve cuffs
  • Cover up the overlocked seam on the back neckline as per pattern – I just couldn’t find the right trim this time
  • Line up my sleeve and cuff seams better – Boo!  At least I got them right on the hem
  • Pre-check the amount of fabric needed.  Thread Theory patterns are really generous – I used only 1.4m out of the recommended 2.3m using their pattern layout too.

Now to send it off and hope my brother-in-law appreciates it.  Unlike my husband, who is awesome if I ask him a very specific sewing question, such as; what size button should I use? Should I topstitch with blue or yellow? Does a plain or contrast collar look better? He has a great opinion every single time.  But when I got him to try this jersey on and asked a general, ‘So what do you think?’ he responded ‘I’m not sure about the collar. I feel like I’m wearing a scarf, like you are grooming me to wear a scarf.  Like next thing you know I’ll be wearing a scarf.’  Me: *glaring* ‘Take. It. Off.’

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